SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - US based nonprofit, 4 Leaf Rover is teaming up with local animal welfare organizations, The St. Maarten Animal Welfare Foundation, SXM PAWS, Animal Defenders, The I Love My Island Dog Association and local veterinarians, Dr. Gary Swanston, Dr. Ruth Wright, Dr. Virginie de Cluster and Dr. Glen Romney to offer free spay and neuter services from March 27 to March 31, 2023. According to Dr. Edward J. Lee, an American physician, who attended the American University of the Caribbean on St. Maarten, a temporary pop-up clinic located adjacent to St. Maarten Veterinary Clinic in Cay Hill will be constructed for this mission, with the goal of spaying or neutering up to 300 dogs and cats.
Dr. Lee said, "One dog pair can breed and result in 67,000 dogs over the course of 7 years. Working with 4 Leaf Rover, local animal welfare leaders and local veterinarians, we hope to lessen the number of stray animals and starvation, suffering, and misery of stray animals on the island. Numerous organizations and individuals, in addition to those I have already mentioned, have come together to make this effort a reality including Stefy's Pet Sitting, Monika Dobo, the Dinghy Dock, Domino's Pizza, the Belair Beach Hotel. La Vista Resort and the St. Maarten Yacht Club Bar and Restaurant, Purina, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Island 92 and WINAIR.
Prime Distributors, the official distributor of Nestle Purina and Graziella Zimmerman, Brand manager of Nestle Purina said, "Purina is thrilled to be supporting this amazing initiative by supplying each pet owner participating in this program a free Purina collar and leash. Prime & Purina are also happy to provide each volunteer supporting this project a T-Shirt to make them easily identifiable to the members of the community. Purina is a global provider of pet products and reaching out into communities where we supply our products is one way to make a huge difference in the lives of the pets, pet owners and stray animals".
Dr. Soc of Island92 went on to add, "Every pet owner that registers a pet for a free spay or neuter procedure will be entered to win 2 free round-trip tickets (taxes and fees excluded) to any WINAIR destination. Everyone knows how much we love our pets at Island 92". Helena de Bekker of Winair said, "WINAIR is proud to support this event that helps to reduce the stray animal population on St. Maarten".
Tito's Handmade Vodka, distributed locally by CC1 St. Maarten has contributed $2,500 towards the costs of medicines needed to complete this mission. Carlton St. Hill of CC1 St. Maarten and responsible for local marketing efforts of Tito's Handmade Vodka added, "Tito’s Vodka is well known for their support of local animal charities through the outreach program, Tito’s Vodka For Dog People, and we are thrilled with their support of this program”. In addition to this contribution, the Dinghy Dock St. Maarten raised more than $600 to help support this free spay and neuter campaign through a recent Yappy Hour.
Hundreds of dogs and cats ended up homeless after Hurricane Irma swept through the island back in 2017. During the COVID pandemic, many pets became homeless after owners could no longer afford or to feed them. When unsterilized dogs and cats are allowed to roam, the exponential rate of breeding of dogs and cats inevitably results in misery and starvation as well the lack of acute medical care for the animals. Research shows that animals that are spayed or neutered are less likely to get into fights, to become infected with contagious diseases, and to roam. Moreover, sterilization also helps prevent deadly forms of cancer and diseases of the reproductive system. Spayed cats are less likely to get infected with Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) which can cause cancer. Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor, a deadly and painful disease, can be prevented in sterilized dogs.
In order to book spay and neuter surgeries for adopted pets, owners will need to send an email to 4 Leaf Rover at SXMFUREVER@gmail.com. Owners will be asked to drop off their pets at either 630am or 1200pm for morning or afternoon surgery times.
To learn more about this free spay-neuter campaign, please go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/557454553065944/. If you would like to donate, please go to https://gofund.me/fbd944ba